Voice cloning technology is becoming increasing sophisticated due to improving text-to-speech AI. The technology offers promise, including medical assistance for people who may have lost their voices due to accident or illness. It also poses significant risk: families and small businesses can be targeted with fraudulent extortion scams; creative professionals, such as voice artists, can have their voices appropriated in ways that threaten their livelihoods and deceive the public.
The FTC is running an exploratory challenge to encourage the development of multidisciplinary approaches—from products to policies to procedures—aimed at protecting consumers from AI-enabled voice cloning harms, such as fraud and the broader misuse of biometric data and creative content. The goal of the Challenge is to foster breakthrough ideas on preventing, monitoring, and evaluating malicious voice cloning.
This effort may help push forward ideas to mitigate risks upstream—shielding consumers, creative professionals, and small businesses against the harms of voice cloning before the harm reaches a consumer. It also may help advance ideas to mitigate risks at the consumer level. And if viable ideas do not emerge, this will send a critical and early warning to policymakers that they should consider stricter limits on the use of this technology, given the challenge in preventing harmful development of applications in the marketplace.
The Voice Cloning Challenge is one part of a larger strategy. The risks posed by voice cloning and other AI technology cannot be addressed by technology alone. It is also clear that policymakers cannot count on self-regulation alone to protect the public. At the FTC, we will be using all of our tools—including enforcement, rulemaking, and public challenges like this one—to ensure that the promise of AI can be realized for the benefit, rather than to the detriment of, consumers and fair competition.
Submit to the Challenge
Submissions should contain these components:
- An Abstract—an overview / summary of your Submission; no more than one page;
- A Detailed Explanation—a detailed written description of your Submission that enables Judges to evaluate how it meets the assessment criteria set out in the Challenge Rules, no more than ten pages;
- Optional: A Video describing and/or demonstrating how your Submission would function.
The online submission portal will be open here from January 2, 2024 to January 12, 2024.
- November 16, 2023: Voice Cloning Challenge launch—participants can start developing their ideas!
- January 2 to 12, 2024: The online submission portal will be open on this page.
- January 12, 2024 at 8:00pm EST: Challenge closes.
- Early 2024: Announcement of challenge results.
Scope & Judging Criteria
The Voice Cloning Challenge is open to multidisciplinary submissions that address fraudulent and/or unauthorized use of AI-based voice cloning systems. Submissions will be judged on criteria in three areas:
- Administrability and Feasibility to Execute: How well might the idea work in practice and be administrable and feasible to execute?
- Increased Company Responsibility, Reduced Consumer Burden: If implemented by upstream actors, how does the idea place liability and responsibility on companies and minimize burden on consumers? How do we ensure that the assignment of liability and responsibility matches the resources, information, and power of the relevant actors? How does this mitigate risks at their source or otherwise strategically intervene upstream before harms occur? If required to be implemented by consumers, how easy is it for consumers to use?
- Resilience: How is the idea resilient to rapid technological change and evolving business practices? How easily can the approach be sustained and adapted as voice cloning technology improves, including how the idea will avoid or mitigate any additional safety and security risks that it itself might introduce?
- The Submission itself must not contain information revealing the Participant’s identity, such as a name, address, employment information, or other identifying details, except that Participants may include their own voice or image in the video, if submitted.
- Any voices cloned as part of a Participant’s work on the Challenge, including as featured in a Participant’s video, if submitted, must be cloned only with the consent of the person whose voice has been cloned. Cloning the voice of any person without their consent is grounds for disqualification from the Challenge.
- Unauthorized copying or use of any copyrighted material or intellectual property without the express written consent of the relevant owner(s) is strictly prohibited.
Participants must read and agree to the full Challenge Rules before making a Submission. For the full Rules, including judging criteria, see the FTC Voice Cloning Challenge Rules.
The Top Prize will receive $25,000; an overall runner-up will receive $4,000; up to three honorable mentions—one for each intervention point as described in the Rules—will receive $2,000 each. For participants that are businesses or organizations of ten or more people, one winner will receive a Recognition Award (no cash prize).
To stay tuned to the latest on the Voice Cloning Challenge, sign up for updates above. If you have additional questions about participating in the Challenge, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.